Photo-sharing platform Instagram is currently trialling a new feature that could change the way users share content to the site.
The feature is known as the ‘favourites’ option and will allow users to create a list of their best friends and acquaintances, before giving the choice of sharing uploaded content solely with those in that list. The feature is set to work for both the main Instagram feed as well as the Stories section of the platform, allowing the user to directly dictate who can see their photos and videos.
By marking a friend as a favourite contact, this could give the user a sense of making them feel closer to that friend, which could result in greater interaction on the site. Furthermore, it is believed that the feature would work wonders for users who are conscious about privacy, as it would give them more control over who sees the content they are uploading.
Users would be able to create a number of private groups, and as a result could end up posting more content to the site in order to share photos and videos with certain sets of friends that they may not want the whole of their follower list to see.
The favourites list would see users being able to add or remove friends and followers from the list at any point in time, and Instagram would not notify that user in either instance. A green badge will be placed on the top of the user’s posts to indicate that the user is included on the favourites list, highlighting that any posts marked for favourites only will be accessible to that user. It is not expected that there will be any limit on the number of friends that can be added to the favourites tab, although Instagram anticipates that users will include an average of 10-30 followers.
It is believed that this feature has been a work in progress for more than a year, and is currently being trialled with a small percentage of Instagrammers, with a view to a permanent rollout. The Product Lead on this project, Robby Stein, has stated that the company really wants to get this particular feature right.
This will be the second new feature in recent times for the popular photo service, which saw the introduction of an archive function earlier in the month, allowing users to hide any post they no longer wish to be public without having to delete it.